Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Part Three

We hit the road heading towards the airport and I started looking for cars online. As we mentioned before, our friend Rodney let us borrow his air card and had we not had it, this part of the story could have turned out very differently. It saved the day...big time. I looked on online at Enterprise and saw that they had a bunch of cars. I ended up calling and found out that they don't do one way rentals. So I moved on to Alamo, out of cars (for one way trips). We tried about 4 other renters and no luck. It was seeming very grim at that moment but on a whim I decided to check online for plane tickets just out of curiosity. When it popped up at $152 I about had a heart attack. The $300 for plane tickets were cheaper than sticking with the van until it could be fixed (which wasn't an option anyway) because of the cost of a hotel room and it was cheaper than a rental car would have cost plus gas. It was a miracle. So, about 10 miles outside of Hartford I bought our plane ticket. I then went back to Enterprise online and reserved a car for the day, and then went online to Hampton Inn and got our hotel room. We pulled up to Enterprise a few moments later and picked up our little Toyota Yaris and hopped back on the road for the 30 minute drive to Bristol, CT to drop off the van. This is about the time we saw our first few drops of rain, another miracle. I wasn't going to tell you all this (our Mom would have worried) but Sara told us as we left the shelter that they had ordered new wiper blades for the van but they hadn't come in yet so the ones we had did work but not very well. This made me very nervous as it was supposed to be rainy the whole trip. But the Lord was watching out for us and we didn't see a drop until our short little drive to Bristol. This entire trip is such a testament that God always has a plan. I don't know if I have ever felt so stressed and hopeless but God was in control and everything just fell into place and worked out better than we could have ever imagined.

Me in the Yaris and Brittany in the van.

We pulled into the Doge dealership right around 5 o'clock and met our hero Norman. He was so kind to us though out this entire disaster and had talked to Sara for over an hour on the phone trying to help us figure out a plan. We unloaded our stuff out of the van and into the Yaris. Some mechanics came over to talk to us (the van demands attention) and when we told them what the issue was, they informed us that it was a very good thing that we had brought it in and that we probably would not have made it home. We apologized to them that they would be stuck working on the stinky van!

We hopped in the Yaris and headed to our hotel back in Hartford. I started laughing when Brittany got in the car and started talking to me because in the tiny Yaris it felt like she was sitting on my lap. We had been so used to the big van! Bristol was such a beautiful little community. We passed a super neat looking pizza place and also a quaint little wine bar. We would have loved to stop but number one, we were too sleepy and number two, we would have cleared out the place with our stench!

Enterprise, Hampton Inn and the airport were all within a half mile of each other, so convenient! We checked in and decided to carry everything up to the room to sort it all out. As soon as we walked in Brittany started ordering some pizza. I hadn't eaten much at all since Pal's the day before because of all the stress but now that the pups were safe and we had a sure fire plan to get home, I was ready to eat! I got in the shower and then Brittany came in to tell me she had ordered the pizza. She said that for $4 more we could have gotten the family meal that included cheesy bread and coke but she had decided against it. I screamed 'CALL THEM BACK! WE NEED CHEESY BREAD!' And that she did because she is the best sister ever.

Once we were both showered and in our PJ's we took on the task of packing for our flight. Flying when you have no luggage is not very fun. We had our cooler and one big beach bag and one smaller tote bag. We stuffed them to the rim. Once we got done packing we both ended up under the covers. I never thought the pizza would get there but when it did I killed it. We were both in our beds with the pizza on the floor between us and the dipping sauce on the nightstand. We are very classy.

As soon as we swallowed our last bites it was lights out. Amazingly it was 9:30 and we had been awake for about 38 hours. Needless to say, we slept like logs and 5 am came quick. We were out the door by 5:45 and after sneaking some yogurt from the breakfast bar the didn't open until 6. We headed to a gas station to get some duct tape to secure the cooler for our flight. We looked like hoodlums entering the airport. We were not planning on seeing the mass public at any point in our trip so we had not brought very appropriate clothing but I guess you just have to make due. On top of that, we had our duct taped cooler, a very colorful beach bag and our pillows. Once we boarded the plane I realized yet again how amazing our God is, it was full. I have no idea how we snagged our (cheap) tickets only 12 hours earlier.
Almost home!

The flights were easy and the layover in Atlanta was perfect. By 10:30 am we were in Birmingham and my last little worry was put to ease as I saw that the cooler had made the flight with the lid intact. My boyfriend Daniel picked us up and I think he was more relieved for us to be home safe then we were. He took us to my house to get my car and then I drove Brittany the 45 minute drive to the Shelby County Shelter to pick up her car.

When we drove up the dogs in the outside runs started barking so we went over to see them. It was overwhelming. Here we are feeling like we made such a difference (which we did) but there were still SO many dogs. It just broke my heart. But, thanks to the Shelter Partners program, thousands of dogs a year get a second chance.

It is great to be home but I can't stop thinking about our pups. I wrote both of the shelters today and asked them to keep us updated on our dogs. One wrote me back and said that 5 of the puppies went up for adoption today (I think they are held a few days to make sure they are healthy enough for adoption) and the others would be put up soon. Then they told me that Binx, an Australian Shepard from our trip had just been adopted and was on his way to his forever home. Yup, I cried. Thinking about him meeting his new family for the first time and seeing his new home and it is amazing feeling.

As for the Van, I'm not 100% sure what the plan is. There was a trip originally planned to leave today and last I heard they will still be going but in a smaller van. The shelter was going to see if those drivers would be willing to pick up our van. I'll keep you guys updated. But, thanks to your generous donations the Shelter Partners program did not have to pay for our trip which saved them over $800 which can go towards the van repairs. Plus the excess that we will be donating this week. I have not had the time to break down our expenses yet but as soon as I do I'll let you all know the total.


  1. really enjoyed reading about your adventure! praise the Lord for all the provisions He had for your trip! I pray all those dogs get snatched up!! i love the back windows of the van- too cute!!

  2. Great re-cap! It was awesome to actually see pictures of the dogs you guys saved! I sponsered Lucy - a black lab mix. I can't wait to hear some more updates about them getting adopted!